Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Speech by Michael Klonsky: Mao Tsetung’s Legacy for Our Struggle

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 38, October 2, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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This week, the Chinese people are celebrating 29 years of liberation, the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Oct. 1, 1949. On this occasion, we are publishing the following excerpts from a speech given by CPML Chairman Michael Klonsky at the Mao Tsetung memorial meeting held recently in Chicago. In his speech, Klonsky explains the tasks of U.S. workers in applying the lessons of Mao Tsetung and the Chinese revolution to conditions in the U.S. and the world today.

Today we are commemorating the death of the great communist leader and teacher Mao Tsetung. But how should we mark the anniversary of the death of such a man?

We do it in our own way. Unlike some people, we have not plastered the walls with posters of Chairman Mao’s picture. A closer look at these posters will show that their makers are not real friends of China, nor are they defenders of Mao’s ideals.

Instead we are holding several mass meetings to give the people a chance to express their feeling for Chairman Mao. For us, the teachings of Mao Tsetung are with us every day. They are a formidable contribution to Marxism-Leninism, which is our guiding theory and not just something to be talked about on an anniversary.

The best way to commemorate our fallen leaders is to apply Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to the concrete conditions in our own country. It is not necessary for us to make a big fanfare at the present time about them. But modest meetings such as this one are important.

Some who have recently visited China testified today to the great advances they saw under socialism and how it felt for once in their lives to feel free of exploitation and oppression.

Socialism is a liberating force that frees the forces of production from the chains which capitalism put on them. Under socialism, science, technology, art and literature as well as the educational institutions are able to make great leaps forward at the service of the people.

The great advances China has made since the death of Chairman Mao show that the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China are following the path he charted. The Chinese people have embarked on a new “Long March” to turn this formerly backward country into a modern socialist one as rapidly as possible.

There are those, of course, who object to this. Like the “gang of four.” they claim that scientific advances mean the “death of socialism,” “capitalist restoration,” and even “fascism.”

It’s funny. When we exposed in The Call that the capitalists were conducting racist experiments involving genetics to carry out attacks on those with “inferior genes” like Hitler did, these people claimed that we were “anti-science” and “flat-worlders.” But these are the very same people who attack the scientific advances made under socialism. Doesn’t this show who the real class collaborators are?

If this country were in the hands of the people, it could feed and clothe the whole world. Instead, the imperialists who run the country not only exploit us but keep their foot on the backs of millions of people in other countries. As workers in this imperialist superpower, we have a special responsibility. We should apply Mao Tsetung’s teachings, like those on the theory of three worlds, to the concrete conditions in our own country and play our part in the worldwide struggle against the two superpowers.


This is what the people of Kampuchea did. They applied this theory to their own concrete conditions, waged a liberation struggle under the leadership of their Communist Party and won, even though they began fighting with only sticks and stones and wound up facing B-52 bombers, napalm and anti-personnel bombs.

Today, these same bombs are being used against them by the Vietnamese, doing the work of the other superpower, the Soviet Union. Those of us who see the behavior of Vietnam today against Kampuchea and against the minorities in Vietnam itself should see that the fight against imperialism can never be separated from the fight against revisionism or no real victory can be won.

Today, the revisionists and the U.S. imperialists have joined in a slander campaign against Kampuchea. The “liberal peace dove” McGovern has gone so far as to call for an invasion. Never have the papers been filled with such big lies, so much hate against a country.

But as Comrade Odis Hyde once said, “If the capitalists hate something so much, it can’t be bad...”

In 1974, Chairman Mao pointed out that the world is divided into three and warned of the growing danger of a new world war. Today is not unlike the days that led up to World War II. We have to get prepared, to enhance the unity between the U.S. people and the people of the whole world.

It is not enough to talk about the theory of three worlds in general. We must step up our support to the liberation struggles in the third world, from Iran to southern Africa, from Palestine to Nicaragua.

We also have to wage our own class struggle. We can’t move to China, nor can we copy exactly what the Chinese do.

For example, we fully support the demand for normalization of relations between the U.S. government and China. Normalization would be a great victory for us and a big setback for the forces of reaction. But our class can never have peace with the capitalists.

The U.S. imperialists are our direct enemy. We have declared war against them just as they declared war on our class. Now even some trade union bureaucrats have admitted that the class war in this country has been more or less “one-sided,” with capitalist attacks coming down hard on the workers.

The solution of Fraser and Meany is to beg the ruling class to cease its war. But that is impossible. The capitalists exist only by waging war against us—that is their class nature.

Our answer to one-sided class war is two-sided class war. No matter what the twists and turns, and there will be many, the class struggle remains constant. There’s no way it can die.

World War I didn’t kill class warfare. It sharpened it, and socialism was born in the world.

World War II didn’t kill it, even though some traitors like Earl Browder tried. Instead, fascism was smashed and socialism spread to hundreds of millions more.

World War III is very difficult for many to comprehend. But we shouldn’t let their war preparations frighten us.

An article in the press the other day pointed out that more people are dying today, victims of the many ills directly traceable to capitalist society, than were killed in all previous wars. This is a system that causes massive destruction to human beings.

That is why, as long as there is imperialism, revolution is inevitable. But it has to be organized and led. People have to be educated.

When we leave here we should do justice to Chairman Mao’s memory. Organize, educate. Get people prepared to carry on the struggle.

If we do this, we won’t have to speak about paradise somewhere else. We’ll have a U.S. that’s free and socialist, where the people of all nationalities live and work together in peace.